Goin’ Home is a studio album by American saxophonist Archie Shepp and pianist Horace Parlan. After their respective work in the avant-garde jazz movement of the 1960s, Shepp and Parlan both faced career challenges as the jazz scene diverged stylistically. They left the United States for Europe during the 1970s and met each other in Denmark before recording the album on April 25, 1977, at Sweet Silence Studio in Copenhagen.
A jazz and gospel album, Goin’ Home features Shepp and Parlan’s interpretations of African-American folk melodies and spirituals. Its title is an allusion to Shepp’s return to his African cultural roots. Shepp had never recorded spirituals before and was overcome with emotion during the album’s recording because of the historical and cultural context of the songs.
Although it surprised jazz listeners upon its release in 1977, Goin’ Home was praised by music critics for its reverent tone and stylistic deviation from Shepp’s previous free jazz works. Shepp and Parlan were artistically satisfied with the album and subsequently recorded another album together, Trouble in Mind, in 1980. Goin’ Home was reissued on CD by SteepleChase Records on May 3, 1994 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goin%27_Home_(Archie_Shepp_and_Horace_Parlan_album)).
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow:
Archie Shepp’s two duet albums with pianist Horace Parlan on SteepleChase (the other one is 1980’s Trouble in Mind) both find the innovative avant-garde tenor in relaxed and melodic form, respectfully interpreting music of the 1920s and before. Goin’ Home features Shepp (who doubles on soprano) and Parlan playing tasteful versions of nine ancient black folk melodies including “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Nobody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen” and “Deep River.” Those listeners only familiar with Shepp’s earlier Fire Music will find these compelling performances to be a revelation (https://www.allmusic.com/album/goin-home-mw0000192507).
All songs are traditional compositions, excepted where noted, and were arranged by Archie Shepp.
1. “Goin’ Home” 6:11
2. “Nobody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen” 4:43
3. “Go Down Moses” 4:21
4. “Steal Away to Jesus” 6:14
5. “Deep River” 4:51
6. “My Lord What a Morning” 4:40
7. “Amazing Grace” (composed by John Newton) 4:23
8. “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” 5:20
9. “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”
10. “Come Sunday” (composed by Duke Ellington)
Horace Parlan – piano
Archie Shepp – arranger, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
Recorded: April 25, 1977
Studio Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen
Producer: Nils Winther